Gyokuro Kin

Tea type
Green Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Frank W.
Average preparation
155 °F / 68 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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From Our Community

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20 Want it Want it

  • +5

21 Own it Own it

  • +6

24 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I received a sample of this from Mercuryhime , thank you! I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to brew this one up – it’s such an appealing dark green, and I’m fairly certain that gyokuros have that...” Read full tasting note
  • “So it seems that the disgustingly humid New York summer has officially begun. For that reason, I currently have two different teas cold brewing in the fridge. I had a liter of Swampwater in the...” Read full tasting note
  • “Excuse me Gyokuro, where have you been hiding all my tea-drinking life? My first Gyokuro and, needless to say, I am happily in love. This is my second time drinking it and tinkering around with the...” Read full tasting note
  • “I usually choose a strong black tea for my morning cup, but we were out of town all weekend and don’t have any milk in the fridge, so I’m happily settling with this green tea instead. It gives me...” Read full tasting note

From Den's Tea

The elegance and beauty of the famed Gyokuro teas. Great harmony of natural sweetness and slight bitterness. Den’s Gyokuro Kin is a cup of affordable luxury.

Origin: Asahina, Shizuoka
Harvest: First Flush 2010
Species: Yabukita

Tasting Profile:
The harmony of slight astringency and natural sweetness turns to full-body in your mouth.

Den’s Preferred Brewing:
Water: 3oz @ 160F
Leaves: 2 grams or 1 rounded teaspoon
Steep: 90 sec
2nd Cup: Water @ 180F; Steep 30 sec

About Den's Tea View company

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24 Tasting Notes

183 tasting notes

Let me add my encomiums to the list of postive reviews of this “affordable luxury.” Even with a lower tea to water ratio than Den’s suggests (I want to make this 2 oz. last a bit!), this is a green tea you can really sink your teeth into—a vibrant brothy soup that (especially on the second infusion) tastes like the briny ocean. If you are not scared away by a bold, sweet, fishy spume of a tea, you’ll love this. As a black tea lover first and foremost, this is one green that really satisfies my soul, especially on a foggy day like yesterday, when the southeast wind blanketed my house in salty ocean air.

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57 tasting notes

Gyokuro Kin, is truly a great gyokuro at a fair price.

Open the bag and you can instantly smell the delicious fresh sweetness this tea gives. The leaves are an even mix of broken and unbroken needles with a rich dark green color.

I brewed this tea following very closely Den’s brewing guide using 160F water and 1 and a half min steep time in a Kyusu.

The resulting brew had a very subtle sweet aroma with a very saturated green color (mostly due to a large amount of particles in the cup). This gyokuro is sweet and full bodied with a slight bitterness that becomes more apparent as your cup cools down. My second cup, this time brewed at 180F, had a much stronger bitter finish but still had the sweetness of the first.

Overall, I like this gyokuro. It has the sweetness that you expect, but with a heavy mouthfeel similar to that of a fukamushi sencha. This combination makes a heartier brew than other gyokuros, perfect to drink with a meal.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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131 tasting notes

I had a tough week, so last night I opened up my pouch of Den’s Gyokuro Kin, placed a good rounded teaspoon of leaves into my Sincha Kyusu and started to relax just smelling the aroma of this beautiful tea.

When Den’s says that “Gyokuro Kin is a cup of affordable luxury,” they are being modest as this is one really fantastic Gyokuro. There truly is a great harmony of natural sweetness and slight bitterness, supplemented by a mellow umami flavor and very light astringency.

1st cup: Water @ 160F; Steep 90 sec
2nd cup: Water @ 180F; Steep 30 sec
I couldn’t resist a 3rd steep, which was nice but gets a bit too astringent for me, and looses the mellowness. Truly a wonderful way to end the week!

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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300 tasting notes

How can I be so blind? You know you have too many teas when you forget you have a gyokuro hiding around. I received this from Christmas as a gift from my mom. I finally found it in my green tea shelf. This has been an awesome week in tea for me. I had my first silver needle, first milk oolong, now the first gyokuro.

WOW, this tea is so beautifully green! When brewed, it just smells and LOOKS like fresh spinach. I let it cool a little, and this is truly a cup of perfection. It’s just so tasty, grassy. I really don’t feel experienced enough to give a description, it’s beyond words, too.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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336 tasting notes

It was indeed much sweeter than I expected. Very refreshing, smooth and sweet.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 45 sec

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39 tasting notes

I used 3 teaspons for 9-10 ounces water, which is approximately what Den’s called for in the instructions. Incredibly sweet stuff. I have had Gyokuru before from other vendors, but nothing this powerful. Smells like the sea and freshly mowed fields. The liqour is greenish yellow and cloudy. It has a touch of umami, but an amazing blast of sweetness too. Thick on the tongue, but with no astringency. Each sip from the first steep was really a pleasure. I did a second steep at 180F for 30 seconds. This steep was about the same color, but I could taste some bitter, probably due to the higher water temperature. Still has a thick mouthfeel (I like that word) and a sweetness though that make it worth the second steep. Strangely, on sips of the second steep, I could taste almost a minty-ness at the end of the swallow. An interesting tea that I shall purchase again, but sparingly, since you do use a lot per serving and it is fairly expensive.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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53 tasting notes

This is probably a completely inaccurate rating, as I am pretty sick right now and can barely taste anything. I’m not sure why I thought to brew up one of my higher-end teas while ill, but I did it anyway, and I may as well write about it.

This is my third time trying to brew this tea; I’ve been having quite a struggle with it. I’ve wanted to try gyokuro for a long time and considering, from what I hear, its picky-ness with brewing parameters, I figure I would start with something…economical.

Well, the first time I tried, I guess the water was too hot—incredible, puckering astringency that only got stronger. The second time I think it was too cool, and tasted like nearly nothing. This time I stuck with the cooler temperature (140-145), upped the leaf ratio to 1g/1oz, and forced myself, against all my past experiences, to let it steep for a full 90 seconds. I have an incredibly low tolerance for bitterness, and will often brew my sencha at a lower temp and for a shorter time than most people, so it was hard to make myself actually steep this as long as I did, but it was worth a shot.

The resulting first cup was interesting— it was mostly smooth and mellow and, I think “brothy” is the word most tea-snobs use. But it was flecked with these “spots” it seemed, of sharp astringency that was just a little offputting, but interesting. I kind of want to attribute this to the many bits of leaves that passed through the strainer, but no idea if that was really the case. It felt wonderful going down though, even if I couldn’t taste it very well. Kind of a chicken soup sort of feel.

The second infusion was even better— stronger in flavor and lacking those little sharp points of astringency (which again would make sense if the flecks of leaf were a cause, since most of them were washed out in the first steeping). By the third steeping it had mellowed out and I couldn’t taste much (but again, my nose feels like someone managed to cram an entire sock into it right now).

I forgot to mention I’m using my little 2oz green kyusu from Den’s Tea. It is the cutest little thing and gyokuro seems to be my best excuse to use it. Sometimes— I know this is probably the most uncultured and rude-sounding behavior in the tea world, but I can’t help myself— I enjoy sipping the tea straight from the tiny spout. Shhhh.

I actually ended up re-steeping this many, many more times, probably around 10-15. Weird as it sounds, that warm, grassy water went a long way in helping me feel better.

It’ll be interesting to duplicate these brewing parameters again when I’m feeling better and see if it’s actually any good. I’m a little skeptical of my own tastes right now, since I tried a bit of my boyfriend’s orange spice tea that had apparently been accidentally left steeping for half an hour, and thought it was pretty good. Which makes me think I should be using my temporary taste-loss as an opportunity to sip through all my cheap and/or stale tea that I need to clear out, instead of drinking higher-end stuff like this. But it’s hard to regret it; I really did enjoy this tea!

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21 tasting notes

My first gyokuro- coming from senchas and dragonwells, the umami and overall complexity of this tea kind of kicked me in the face- but not in a bad way. Very interesting, but definitely not an everyday tea for me. Also, I followed the instructions from Den’s, but I think I may have used a little too much leaf/not enough water. Anyway, I’m going to do another infusion later, I’d like to try and pull out a little more sweetness in that one.

165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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4 tasting notes

This is one of the teas that I got in the Den’s Tea starters kit thing. I personally thought that it was kind of strange to be giving this away after seeing the price of it normally, but I’m not one to turn away awesome things.

This tea was strange to me. The second infusion was better than the first by at least an order of magnitude. The first infusion had a light flavor with a slight bitter undertone and gave off a unique but relaxing aroma. The second infusion was significantly darker than the first and came out much more bitter.

I am more of a fan of bitter things (just making the switch from coffee to tea) and as such, I have yet to break myself of that desire.

This is a much more fine tea than any sencha you may encounter (although I am lead to understand that such is the case for higher quality teas) , so just keep that in mind.

All in all, i think this tea is solid. Another quality product from Den’s.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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366 tasting notes

To my surprise, this tea came as a complimentary sample, and I am sure glad it did. I have had only one opportunity to drink gyokuro before, and it was for only one sip – a “just to try” kind of thing.

The dry leaves are lovely. Emerald green. Seaweed aroma. Wet, they are even more beautiful. Darkened in color, smelling of grass. The aroma of the tea is grassy as well. The bright green liquor is clear (save for the leaf particles). The flavor is medium-bodied, and both bitter and sweet.

During the second infusion, the leaves expanded more. The flavor was more full-bodied and flavorful. While it was a more bitter (not overly so), the aftertaste was sweeter. Because of this quality, I prefer the second infusion to the first.

This gyokuro is not only a pleasure to drink, but a beautiful tea as well. It is for anyone who aesthetically appreciates tea.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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